When a loved one faithfully reports to work daily for years, it is surely a shock to hear news that he or she will not return home from his or her job. Compounding immense grief, families must process a transition in all aspects without their loved one, including their finances. Workers' compensation death benefits may be able to assist a family through the transition, but filing a claim may be difficult. One Illinois family received the tragic news this past fall that their loved one would not return from his Trollway job after being struck by a vehicle.
Reportedly, the 48-year-old male worker was employed by the Illinois Trollway for 25 years and was well respected by his co-workers. The man was working with a crew to clean up debris on I-294 when the accident occurred. Security camera footage, DNA evidence and 911 witness calls all provided evidence that a semi-truck driver had struck the Trollway vehicle, resulting in the worker's death.
The 25-year-old truck driver had apparently been driving erratically prior to the accident and did not stop after striking the Trollway vehicle. He was soon apprehended, and he was recently charged with reckless homicide. His bail was set at $175,000. Authorities hope that the man's death reminds driver's of the Illinois Move Over Law and the Give The Some Distance Campaign to help protect other workers or vehicles stopped on the side of the road.
Workers' compensation death benefits will not take the place of a lost loved one. However, it can assist grieving families through the unexpected and difficult transition. Illinois attorneys are familiar with the system and can assist families who qualify for the benefits to file a claim.
Source: ABC Chicago, "Man charged in I-294 hit-and-run crash that killed Illinois Tollway worker", Evelyn Holmes, Feb. 2, 2018